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Quality of life: A stroll down Central

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Resident points out improvements made to Central Avenue

By The Staff

Don Kendall, a member of LA walks, spent some time recently taking a good look at the changes that have occurred along Central Avenue, thanks to a million-dollar enhancement project between Mari-Mac Plaza and downtown.

“We’re finding that a lot of people didn’t realize what has happened,” he said Thursday. “They haven’t been in the area for a number of years, even if they live nearby.”

He wondered how much of the transformation he could capture in a single photograph.

“Take a refreshing stroll down Central Avenue,” he encouraged country residents. “You’ll discover that walking will be fun and easier on generously widened sidewalks with improvements allowing for safe and convenient access.”

He pointed out that the improvements are in compliance with the American With Disabilities Act and there are “bump-outs” and “bulb-outs” that improve safety. The “bump-outs” on both sides of the street allow greater visibility for pedestrians and drivers. Along with slower, 25 mph speed limits, the “bulb-outs” that separate a several parking spaces in a row allow for safer bicycling.

The viewscape is improved, Kendall said, by the hanging flower baskets on new upgraded light poles and the landscaping has been upgraded all along the avenue. Colored banners proclaim the county’s 60th anniversary.

The new Acorn-style light poles responsibly meet standards in the New Mexico Dark Sky Protection Act. And there are useful electrical outlets on the base of each pole.

He found a spot, where with only a bit of compression, he caught most of what he was looking for.

“Everything was taken from one location,” he said. “The flowers are there, the locater, the bus stop, somebody waiting. I thought it was pretty representative.”

The goal of the recently completed Central Avenue Streetscape, he said, is to promote economic redevelopment in downtown Los Alamos as a vibrant pedestrian-friendly shopping place.